Sunday, January 4, 2009

January 4, 2009 Lots of catching up to do, and Danny's Birthday

I can't believe it's been so long since I've blogged, the more days pass the more resistant I become to updating due to the ever increasing backlog.

On Friday December 19th we had a snow storm. It started around mid afternoon and by early evening the wind was howling and the snow was falling quickly. It was our men's night, thankfully I'd planned ahead and prepared Chicken Marsala the afternoon before so I'd only need to throw it in the oven an hour before dinner for it to be ready. It worked out very well because at just about 6pm we lost power. We've had a couple of instances over the years where we've lost power and with 13 windows on our North wall, facing the pond, it's nearly essential to keep heat pumping in our house otherwise it cools off very quickly, especially during a bitter cold nor' easter. We decided rather then waiting to see if power would come on, to fire up one of the two generators we have, to power a light in the kitchen and the pellet stove. Our kitchen stove is about 20 years old and runs on propane, as does our hot water so even without power both of those still work, thankfully. Our house became the place to be, with some power, heat and a warm meal it quickly filled up, we enjoyed the company and a few games of cards before power was restored at about 10pm. It was a nice cozy evening.

Saturday morning I woke up to find some spots on my chest, they were somewhat itchy but since I'd been wearing clothes that hadn't been washed I didn't think too much of it. Just a little contact dermatitis, or so I thought. By Saturday night it had turned to raised patches and was also starting to appear on my back. Sunday morning I awoke very itchy and my entire chest and upper back were covered with these raised red itchy patches. I called my doctor first thing Monday morning and went in immediately. I showed him the rash, told him of the clothes I'd worn, he agreed it was probably just contact dermatitis prescribed a 6 day course of Prednisone and told me to take benadryl until the rash went away.
Danny had a great time at his school Christmas party on the 22th of December. Mike, Dan and I made chocolate Christmas bulb pops for the kids and teachers. The kids and I have made chocolate in the past, however is seems that Mike wasn't around because he had more fun making them the Dan and I did, and before we knew it he was in the kitchen, melting, pouring, freezing and wrapping and Dan and I were curled up by the stove enjoying a book. Dan had a great time at his party and Santa even made a surprise visit and gave Danny a fun doodling toy.

Tuesday I treated the itch as my MD recommended but didn't get very much relief, even with the prednisone. We spent the day getting ready for Christmas. Mike had a meeting so we met him down at Adam and Kristin's for their annual Christmas Eve's eve party. The company was great, the food gets better every year...I don't know where they find the time or the energy! I asked Dawn, Kristin, Aunt Fran and Ed about rashes and lupus since they all have experiences with one or the other. Still nobody seemed to know exactly what it was. Wednesday morning I woke up and concerned that the rash wasn't getting any better and with Christmas only a day away I called my doctor who said go to the emergency room. It was Christmas eve, there was about a thousand things to do in the next 24 hours, there's no way I could go to the ER. Took two benadryl and hoped for the best. Finished wrapping presents, enjoyed a Christmas eve Chinese dinner with the Leone family, tucked the cherubs in, filled stockings, finished up with the Christmas preperations and went to bed.

At 4:30am Christmas morning Danny whispered in my ear...."Mommy, Santa came!" we'd left the tree lights on so he could easily see what Santa had left. I convinced Dan to lay down for another hour before my and Marley's bladder forced me out of bed, and with the effort woke Dan. It was the first year that we didn't have to wake him up on Christmas morning, I'm pretty sure it won't be the last. The kids opened their stockings, I made some coffee rolls and we sat to open presents. We all had a great Christmas morning. Emily got her Nintendo DS, Danny assorted toys, Mike his vacuum pump for his lathe, I was so happy to have a new real terry cloth bathrobe and a mother's ring. The family gift this year was guitar hero world tour band, which we knew we'd all love! With Christmas presents opened, everybody fed and only twice baked potatoes to contribute to the Leone feast I suddenly felt the need to visit the ER. I hadn't realized I was waiting, but I was....for everybody to be happy and content, enjoying their Christmas they wouldn't miss least for a little while. I drove myself to the ER, there were only two other patients waiting to be admitted, and I only waited a total of half an hour. Once in the emergency department, there was only one other patient, one nurse and one doctor. The nurse was attentive, the doctor took one look at my back, said he saw the classic Christmas tree shape and quickly made a preliminary diagnosis of Pityariasis Rosea. After doing a little research and running some blood work he was confident he was correct. Prescribed a stronger then benadryl antihystimine and sent me home. I returned by 1pm. Unfortunately I'd forgotten what day it was and instead of filling my script at the 24 hour CVS in Falmouth returned to our little one down the street which was, of course, closed. I decided that rather then heading back over I'd wait until the next day. Somehow knowing it wasn't anything serious made the itch more tolerable.

The next morning we all went out to breakfast at the Picnic Box, made a not so quick stop at game stop, our new favorite used Wii game store and finally picked up my script. After one dose I was wishing I'd made the trip back to Falmouth the day before. The itch was nearly instantly gone and one of the other uses for the medication is that it's a mild anti anxiety, used before and after surgery...all of a sudden I felt like I needed to sin!

The rest of the week went fairly uneventfully. We enjoyed the after Christmas togetherness. Mike took vacation so was off until January 5th, and Emily was officially unemployed as of December 24th. Ed had suggested a few weeks earlier that I should join him and Alicia for a night at the playhouse and since I was really itching to get out of the house decided I'd like to go down on the 27th of December to have lunch with the girls to celebrate Holly's 37th Birthday, see Mom, Mo, Fran and Gary off since they were all leaving for Disney at 1am Sunday morning and join Ed and Alicia at the playhouse. I arrived in RI around noon, met the girls at Coddington's for lunch to wish Holly Happy Birthday. Decided I'd go for a run up at Sachuest Point then arrived back at Mom's house to a nice hot bath...she's so good to me! Went next door to unpack in Zack's room and dressed for the night out. We were too late for dinner but visited with Matt until the show was ready to start. The play was great, very funny and well done. Afterward we enjoyed a drink or two before closing the playhouse and heading down to the Blue's cafe for the last half hour of their U2 tribute -Love is a temple-. As we were leaving there we got a call from Mom and Mo who were just leaving the shell gas station at the rotary, and wouldn't wait for us to say goodbye. Ed quickly noticed that they were on the ramp headed for the bridge and followed and passed them horn blaring. Once safely ahead and with no on coming traffic we pulled a U-ey on the bridge and waved good bye once more. Starving from a fun busy night we tried to go to Blue Plate diner only to find them closed. With I HOP as the only option we nearly had to wait for a table. My garden omelet was mediocre at best, but the company was great and it ended a very nice night. Sunday morning I awoke at 7am, with only a little hangover and again headed up to Sachuest point for a run. Came home, showered then met -Marie in Dartmouth for a late afternoon dinner and after two glasses of wine, and long walk through the mall to burn it off. I returned home around 8:30 Sunday night happy but tired.

Mike took the week between Christmas and New Years off so it was good ole fashioned family time. We ate out, worked on house projects, played Wii and enjoyed each other's company. New Years eve came with another snow storm forcasted. 6-8 inches on the Cape. I made sure I went out the day before and stocked up on milk and bread, heaven forbid we be caught without it! I checked my e-mail and noticed one from Alicia, checking in wishing us a Happy New Year etc. Alicia works at a computer so I can always count on getting a quick response during working hours. I asked her what her evening plans were and she said that Ed was helping at the playhouse and they were going to bring in the New Year there....hmmmmm....I thought. I went and found Mike and asked him if he'd want to drive down to RI, in a blizzard to stay at Mom's house overnight so we could bring in the new year with Ed and Alicia. He looked at me as if I were nuts, but being the good husband he is said "sure!" I asked Alicia if we could tag along. She told me to call Jonathan. I texted him at 9am, asking if he had two seats and let him know I'd be willing to help. 9:15, 9:30, 9:45....the snow has started and it's falling hard! 10am my phone vibrated....We have room...$%@&* snow! Mike walked in just a moment later and I told him they had room. We decided since the snow had already started that if we were going to go, we'd better do it now. Within a half hour, we were all packed including the Wii (so the kids would have something to do at Mom's house all night) We made the very slow 2 hour drive (normally 1 hour and 10 minutes) to Middletown, stopped at the grocery store for supplies and unpacked at Mom's house. With time to spare we decided we'd take the kids to see Marley and Me. A bad choice considering Marley dies for the last half hour of the movie and Dan's sadness consumed him by the end. We got back to Mom's in time to change and head to the Playhouse. Ed was helping Jonathan so Mike kept Alicia, Audrey (Jonathan's girlfriend) and I company. The food was unbelievable and we enjoyed the company. The rest of the patrons finished dinner and went into the show. Since I'd seen it the Saturday before and Mike wouldn't be interested we sat out and helped set up for the cabaret and New Year. By help out I had one job. Jonathan looked at me, as he handed me a tray full of empty champagne glasses, and said "You've done this before, right?" "Of course!" I said! and confidently started walking for the dining room. Just as I was stepping down my boot caught on the rug and crash! Three glasses to the floor. Thankfully none of them broke, we set the table. Mike carried glasses and I set thereafter, however Jonathan did break a glass after that event so I didn't feel too badly. The patrons came back out, and we enjoyed Cabaret and the dropping of the ball. It was a great night and I was glad we'd come. We went home freezing and climbed into Mom's nice warm water bed, and to sleep I went. Mike didn't fare quite so well. He and the water bed fought the whole time he was in it, he woke up early for a smoke on the back deck. The temp was 6 degrees and the wind was blowing at about 25mph. He was not happy. I found him at 7am sitting at the table, already into his second large Dunkin Donuts coffee. I was hungover but could clearly see we wouldn't be staying long. Packed up, woke the kids and in PJ's headed home. About 10 miles from the Bourne Bridge I suggested stopping for breakfast at a diner in Wareham. We pulled off but was unable to find the diner, spying a breakfast shack we decided it would do and pulled in. The Cranberry Cottage is my... new favorite breakfast place. I had New England Benedict which is fish cakes on english muffins with scrambled eggs and hollindaise sauce. Even hungover it was the best thing I've tasted in ages. I ate it all. Mike had eggs Benedict, Danny and bagel with CC and sausage and Em scrambled, a bagel and home fries. Nobody was as impressed as I was. We made it home to find the house a chilly 54 degrees. We'd left the pellet stove running on low, and although it was still running it hadn't been on high enough to battle the 6 degree wind. By 7pm the house was up to 69 degrees. I fed the animals at Green Briar and did what I could to stay out of our cold house. Made baked stuffed shrimp for dinner with garlic butter pasta and casear salad and invited the Leone's over to join us. The Leone boys brought over their Wii controllers and fired up the Wii band for the first time in it's entirety. Two guitars, drums and vocals. It was really impressive. Everybody had a good time.

Friday we were scheduled to feed the animals as well and with Danny's birthday just a day away we had preperations to make. Em joined me in ordering balloons, picking up cake decorating supplies and a couple of last minute presents. We enjoyed lasagna at the Leone's for men's night.

Happy 5th Birthday Danny!!!

Saturday January 3rd, was going to be a busy day. Danny wanted to go to breakfast then bowling. Since bowling is in Buzzards bay, wareham I suggested we go back to the Cranberry cottage for breakfast. I was craving fish cake benedicts. The family agreed and we arrived here at 10:45am. Dan paid the bill as he had a couple of days before and told the waitress it was his birthday. When Dan sat back down the waitress announced that it was Dan's birthday to the entire restaurant, and brought out a muffin with a candle. Everybody sang him happy birthday. The time on my phone said 11:30am. He was exactly 5 years old. It was a special moment. I briefly recounted how thrilled we were to have him join us at 11:30am on that cool January morning 5 years ago during his homebirth. We left there and bowled a set at Ryan's family amusement, and spent a couple of dollars in the arcade, before a quick stop at the store to pick up his balloons and the ingredients for his spaghetti and meatball birthday dinner. We arrived home to find Gramma Nettie and little Gram just arriving with Christmas and birthday presents.
We exchanged Christmas gifts and finished just as friends started arriving for Danny's birthday. Laurie, Janni and Derek joined us in watching Dan enthusiastically open his gifts, slice his Spiderman 3 birthday cake, and enjoy his party. A group retired to the living room to play in the band as I dressed and got ready for work. Mike wrapped up the party and made Dan his birthday dinner. I think he had a great day!

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